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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Juneau is now 2.5 years old. I have never had a dog who was left unspayed after about 6 months, however, her breeders contract said I could not do it until she was 2, and I have been researching even before I got her about the possible negative affects of spay/neuter in goldens, after losing 2 dogs to cancers that are now proving to be related to early spay neuter, and according to the latest UC Davis study, how spaying a female golden should possibly never be done at all.
I had an appointment made for her in July, but after a long heart to heart with her breeder, I canceled it, because, as Marcy said "you can't undo it once it's done".
Before I brought her home, I was worried about having an unspayed dog, but it honestly has been no issue. She keeps herself clean when she's in heat, and we don't have any intact males and I keep a close eye on her even when we're out in our fenced yard, and no off leash time outside the yard during that time. My problem is, I keep hearing that an unused uterus is a ticking time bomb. As she will never be bred, obviously, her uterus will never be used. How common is pyometra, exactly? I'm less worried about mammary tumors, but pyo scares me a lot, and I just can't imagine losing her to something I could have avoided if I had her spayed. But on the other hand, the most recent UC Davis study basically said don't spay a female golden. So I'm torn about doing it at all. Any recommendations or real life experiences from anyone here that can make me feel better? Attached is a pic of my girl on her first beach vacation last week in Nags Head.
Water Dog Carnivore Dog breed Beach
 

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Did you get her from Marcy Kronz?
 

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Juneau is gorgeous - my kind of Golden. I wish I knew what the answer was. My girl, Ellie, is my first female ever. I didn't spay her because I figured she needed those hormones. I got lucky and never had a problem, I didn't spay her until she was 7. She was having exploratory surgery for a blockage and so I decided that I would go ahead and knock it out at the same time since I knew I probably wanted to do it at some point. The only real difference I've noticed is that she does have more coat now. I do believe in the future I will go the same route. Wait till later in life. I'm sorry I don't have a scientific method for you.
 

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Love Marcy! Fantastic human, breeds correct, versatile dogs. I was there the day Joker won back-to-back specialty majors to finish! We were all sooooo excited for her.

Anyway, I think you might need another heart to heart with her on this subject. Pyo typically hits older bitches, but can happen younger as well. It’s easier for breeding bitches to remain intact since their uteruses are actively being used and cleaned out, so to speak.
 

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But also, as long as you catch it early enough, it can be treated. Typically that treatment is spaying the bitch OR if it’s an open pyo a course of antibiotics plus flushing out the uterus and then breeding on the next cycle.
 

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You know it’s funny that you should bring this up. I actually had a dream (more like nightmare) last night that someone spayed Eevee when she was going in for something else without my permission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Love Marcy! Fantastic human, breeds correct, versatile dogs. I was there the day Joker won back-to-back specialty majors to finish! We were all sooooo excited for her.

Anyway, I think you might need another heart to heart with her on this subject. Pyo typically hits older bitches, but can happen younger as well. It’s easier for breeding bitches to remain intact since their uteruses are actively being used and cleaned out, so to speak.
I just love Joker. He was in the other litter that was born at the same time Juneau was, they're 3 or 4 days apart I believe. On puppy open house day he was the one everyone was swooning over, he was such a ham. Juneau got to hang out with him for awhile since I couldn't pick her up until a week after everyone else went home.
I'll definitely talk to her about it going forward. I text her generally with any silly or stupid question I have, but she knows how neurotically vigilant I am about my dogs health. She said to wait as long I could, til about 6 or so, but that was in the summer before I read the study, and this is what they said about female goldens, which is what made me start thinking harder about not doing it at all. "The suggested guideline for females, based on the increased occurrence of cancers at all spaying ages, is leaving the female intact or spaying at one year and remaining vigilant for the cancers"
 

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I'm less worried about mammary tumors, but pyo scares me a lot, and I just can't imagine losing her to something I could have avoided if I had her spayed. But on the other hand, the most recent UC Davis study basically said don't spay a female golden. So I'm torn about doing it at all. Any recommendations or real life experiences from anyone here that can make me feel better?
When I was researching the pros/cons of spaying, and the various forms of spaying available, I ran across the concept of "ovary sparing spay". We ended up doing the exact opposite, but I sometimes wonder if we should have pursued OSS a bit more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
When I was researching the pros/cons of spaying, and the various forms of spaying available, I ran across the concept of "ovary sparing spay". We ended up doing the exact opposite, but I sometimes wonder if we should have pursued OSS a bit more.
Yes, I've been researching this also. My problem is how do I know if the vet is any good? No one near me does it, and if any part of the uterus is left in them, they can still get stump pyometra. So I would need to find a vet that has done it many times and has good reviews from other people.
 

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Yes, I've been researching this also. My problem is how do I know if the vet is any good? No one near me does it, and if any part of the uterus is left in them, they can still get stump pyometra. So I would need to find a vet that has done it many times and has good reviews from other people.
Start with your primary vet, and ask for recommendations. I also found, with a minimum of Google-Fu, this site that has a listing of veterinarians that do ovary sparing spays. I'm fairly certain there are other resources. At some point, however, after all the research has been done and questions asked-and-answered, you need to be able to trust your gut.
 

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Joker is just a nice, good dog. He works hard, is really handsome, moves nicely.

I was actually going to say that about 6 is when you would really need to do it, so I agree with Marcy.

If you opt to go the OSS route, I’d probably look at one of the vet hospitals with a repro specialist. OSU has one, but idk what all she specializes in and I know Columbus isn’t exactly close.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Joker is just a nice, good dog. He works hard, is really handsome, moves nicely.

I was actually going to say that about 6 is when you would really need to do it, so I agree with Marcy.

If you opt to go the OSS route, I’d probably look at one of the vet hospitals with a repro specialist. OSU has one, but idk what all she specializes in and I know Columbus isn’t exactly close.
The clinic Marcy uses for her spays and everything breeding related I believe has a reproduction specialist. They’re in Ohio, a think about 3.5 hours from me. That’s where I had her laparoscopic spay scheduled that I canceled, and Marcy speaks so highly of them that if they do OSS, I’ll likely still go there. I’ll have to call them.
 

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When I was researching the pros/cons of spaying, and the various forms of spaying available, I ran across the concept of "ovary sparing spay". We ended up doing the exact opposite, but I sometimes wonder if we should have pursued OSS a bit more.
I would also suggest considering an OSS. I've never done one before, but I'm likely going to do it with my current puppy once she is older, both because of my independent research and the advice of my vet. My vet primarily does OSS these days and has been an early advocate, but I don't think many vets are very familiar with OSS -- and most certainly aren't experienced enough to do it, since OSS is much more precise and involved than traditional spays. You'll definitely want to find someone who does OSS often. I think Maegan's suggestion of a vet hospital with a repro specialist could be a good approach.
 

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This is something that has been plaguing me. My 11 year old Golden girl came to me at 1.5 years old and already spayed so there was no concern there, it was out of my hands. My 11 MONTH old girl though, I am so torn over what to do. I read the UC Davis study, and indeed, if that bears out to be the truth it does seem that leaving her intact is the right thing to do. My vet wanted me to spay her around 6 months old, but I think that's kind of their general mantra. I've had dogs all my life and never have had an intact female. I worry about my dogs constantly, they're family to me. (At 11 months old my girl still hasn't had her first heat, unless we somehow missed it, but I doubt that.) I worry about Pyo, I worry about mammary cancers, I worry about everything. It's a stressful thing for me.
 

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Updated: I had good, long talk with the reproductive specialist at the vet my breeder uses. He does OSS and removes the uterus and cervix. I believe I will be going this route. My only problem, which isn't a problem yet, is that I did want my next golden to be a boy, and since the females still go into season and the males will still be attracted to her, it could present a problem having two intact (or mostly intact) dogs in the same house.
 

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Updated: I had good, long talk with the reproductive specialist at the vet my breeder uses. He does OSS and removes the uterus and cervix. I believe I will be going this route. My only problem, which isn't a problem yet, is that I did want my next golden to be a boy, and since the females still go into season and the males will still be attracted to her, it could present a problem having two intact (or mostly intact) dogs in the same house.
It’s funny you say this, because I also am thinking about a boy next time, and was going to post a question to see if anyone else doing OSS is in the same boat. It seems that you’d have to keep them separate as you would if they were both intact, at least when they are not being closely supervised, which is a bit annoying. FWIW, I also wouldn’t want to not do an OSS (in favor of a traditional spay) to resolve a somewhat minor inconvenience. I’d love to hear others chime in.
 
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